B-142823, SEP. 22, 1960

B-142823: Sep 22, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29. WHICH WAS IN RESPONSE TO OUR LETTER OF MAY 9. WERE TRANSPORTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION AT $10.50 PER LONG TON. ON THIS SAME VESSEL LOTS OF KAFIR AND CORN WERE TRANSPORTED TO ANTWERP FOR COMMERCIAL SHIPPERS AT $6 PER LONG TON. PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST WE ARE ENCLOSING COPIES OF OUR COMPLETE RECORD IN THIS MATTER FOR SUCH ACTION AS YOU MAY DEEM APPROPRIATE. ON WHICH WE HAVE MADE SEVERAL MINOR CHANGES. THE PRINCIPAL CHANGE MADE IS IN EXHIBIT IV OF THE CONSOLIDATED EXHIBITS WHERE WE CORRECTED THE CLAIM ON BILL OF LADING NO. 1030. IS INTERESTED IN THIS MATTER. THE COMMITTEE HAS REQUESTED THAT IT BE INFORMED AS TO THE ACTION TAKEN BY US LOOKING TO THE RECOVERY OF ANY POSSIBLE OVERPAYMENTS THAT MAY HAVE ARISEN DUE TO UNITED STATES FLAG OPERATORS CHARGING THE GOVERNMENT.

B-142823, SEP. 22, 1960

TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1960, FILE GCD:LFL 61 18744, WHICH WAS IN RESPONSE TO OUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1960, ASKING FOR YOUR VIEWS AS TO THE ADVISABILITY OF SEEKING PENALTIES AND DAMAGES UNDER 31 U.S.C. 231 AND/OR 28 U.S.C. 2514 IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABOVE MENTIONED CLAIMS. YOU SUGGEST THAT THIS MATTER BE REFERRED TO YOU FOR SUCH ACTION AS YOU MAY DEEM APPROPRIATE, AND REQUEST THAT ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR DOCUMENTATION NOT PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED BE SUPPLIED.

AS STATED IN OUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1960, THE OVERCHARGES COMPRISING THE CLAIMS HERE INVOLVED AROSE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAYMENT OF OCEAN SHIPPING CHARGES ON CARGOES OF BULK GRAIN IN LESS-THAN-SHIPLOAD LOTS WHICH MOVED DURING 1959 IN DRY CARGO LINER BERTH SERVICE UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. OCEAN CARRIERS TRANSPORTING COMMODITIES SHIPPED PURSUANT TO SUCH PROGRAMS MUST CERTIFY ON BILLS FOR SUCH SERVICES PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION THAT THE RATE CHARGED FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED DOES NOT EXCEED THE PREVAILING RATE, IF ANY, FOR SIMILAR SERVICES, OR THE RATE PAID TO THE CARRIER FOR SIMILAR SERVICES BY OTHER CUSTOMERS SIMILARLY SITUATED. THE ENCLOSED RECORDS SHOW THAT LYKES BROS. STEAMSHIP CO., INC., AND THE BLOOMFIELD STEAMSHIP COMPANY CHARGED THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION HIGHER RATES FOR TRANSPORTING GRAIN FROM UNITED STATES GULF PORTS TO PORTS IN THE ANTWERP-ROTTERDAM-HAMBURG-BREMEN RANGE THAN THE RATES CHARGED TO "OTHER CUSTOMERS SIMILARLY SITUATED.' IN FACT, IN THE CASE OF BLOOMFIELD STEAMSHIP COMPANY'S VESSEL "LUCILLE BLOOMFIELD" SAILING FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS, TO ANTWERP, BELGIUM, AND WESER, GERMANY, TWO LOTS OF WHEAT LOADED ON FEBRUARY 8, 1959, WERE TRANSPORTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION AT $10.50 PER LONG TON. ON THIS SAME VESSEL LOTS OF KAFIR AND CORN WERE TRANSPORTED TO ANTWERP FOR COMMERCIAL SHIPPERS AT $6 PER LONG TON. OTHER INSTANCES OF GRAIN LOADED BY COMMERCIAL SHIPPERS IN THE SAME VESSEL AS ICA GRAIN BUT AT LOWER RATES MAY BE FOUND IN THE PRESENT RECORD.

PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST WE ARE ENCLOSING COPIES OF OUR COMPLETE RECORD IN THIS MATTER FOR SUCH ACTION AS YOU MAY DEEM APPROPRIATE. THE RECORD ENCLOSED CONSISTS OF A COMPLETE SET OF THE EXHIBITS NOS. I TO VI INCLUSIVE (FASTENED TOGETHER IN ONE FOLDER) AS PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED WITH OUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1960, ON WHICH WE HAVE MADE SEVERAL MINOR CHANGES. THE PRINCIPAL CHANGE MADE IS IN EXHIBIT IV OF THE CONSOLIDATED EXHIBITS WHERE WE CORRECTED THE CLAIM ON BILL OF LADING NO. 1030, ON THE VESSEL "NEVA WEST," TO SHOW THE OVERPAYMENT AS $4,162.50 INSTEAD OF $4,612.50. THIS HAS THE EFFECT OF MAKING THE TOTAL EXCESS CHARGES PAID TO BLOOMFIELD STEAMSHIP COMPANY TO BE $129,377.16 INSTEAD OF $129,827.16, AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED. TWO SEPARATE EXHIBITS, NUMBERED II AND V, COMPRISE THE VOUCHERS, BILLS OF LADING AND OTHER SUPPORTING PAPERS ON THE SHIPMENTS LISTED IN EXHIBITS NOS. II AND V OF THE CONSOLIDATED GROUP PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED.

AS INDICATED IN OUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1960, THE ANTI-TRUST SUBCOMMITTEE (SUBCOMMITTEE NUMBER 5), COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IS INTERESTED IN THIS MATTER. THE COMMITTEE HAS REQUESTED THAT IT BE INFORMED AS TO THE ACTION TAKEN BY US LOOKING TO THE RECOVERY OF ANY POSSIBLE OVERPAYMENTS THAT MAY HAVE ARISEN DUE TO UNITED STATES FLAG OPERATORS CHARGING THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION IN PARTICULAR, HIGHER RATES THAN CHARGED THE PUBLIC GENERALLY. IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE COMMITTEE'S REQUEST, WE ARE TODAY FURNISHING THEM A COPY OF THIS LETTER AND ACCOMPANYING ENCLOSURES, TO KEEP IT APPRISED OF OUR ACTION.

WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD KEEP US ADVISED AS TO THE PROGRESS OF YOUR HANDLING IN THIS MATTER, AND ARE READY TO HELP IN ANY WAY THAT WE CAN.